I was inspired to write this post after watching a YouTube clip. In the clip a child was standing on the side of the street, very clearly freezing, holding up a sign and asking for help. For (what was reported) two hours people walked on by. A few people stopped and hesitated, looking at the young man and obviously debating if they should help, whilst, others just went along their everyday lives.
After a long while, a homeless man approached the child and asked him if he wanted help. The homeless guy gave him his jacket and hugged him.
I know many of us would contemplate the actions of the homeless guy as high risk. His actions could be misconstrued as something other than kindness. However, the homeless guy obviously could not just stand by and watch this child remain cold and shivering for much longer. Therefore, he took action and provided what he considered to be a solution.
I recently read and had to review a book about great leaders – “How Great Leaders Think – the art of reframing”. Although, the book touched on business structure, identity, excellence and politics, for me it missed one key element of great leadership, and that is – “COMPASSION”.
The meaning of the word COM PASSION is derived mid-14c., from Old French compassion “sympathy, pity” (12c.), from Late Latin compassionem (nominative compassio) “sympathy,” noun of state from past participle stem of compati “to feel pity,” from com- “together” (see com-) + pati “to suffer” (see passion).
Compassion, is a great asset in life and therefore in business. Compassion can create a profitable and successful eco-system for us all, who have the courage to take a risk and demonstrate what it takes to be great leaders in industry.
At the end of the video, you saw two young men walk up to the boy and the homeless guy – watch the clip to see what happened.
So what did I learn?
- Business is not for everyone. Not all of us are prepared to take action, or risk doing something out of our everyday comfort zone.
- Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Do not underestimate those that ‘seem not as influential as you’; leadership and game changers are everywhere.
- As leaders, you need to take action, sometimes at great risk.
- Your idea, regardless of how simple it seems can make a difference, the rewards will come.
Compassion pays in business!